LII THE SELJUK TURKS in
returned alive from a quest on which they had been sent
by the " Shaykh of the Mountain."
Mahmud) A.H. 485 (1092) ; Barkiyaruk, A.H. 487
(1094) ; Malik Shah //., A.H. 498 (1104) ; Mohamed,
A.H. 498-511 (1104-1117).—The death of Malik Shah
unchained fierce rivalries. He had four sons, all of
whom ultimately reigned, the latest and most illustrious
being Sultan Sanjar, or cc the Hawk."
Turkan Khatun was at Baghdad with Mahmud, a child
of four, at the time of her husband's decease, and im-
mediately brought influence to bear upon the Caliph
Muktadi to secure her son's accession. In this she
succeeded, and a high official was sent on posthorses to
Isfahan with orders to seize Barkiyaruk, Malik Shah's
eldest son by another wife, Zobayda. But this attempt
was forestalled by the sons of the Nizam-ul-Mulk, and
Barkiyaruk, a boy of twelve, was taken off to Rei, where
he was crowned. Turkan Khatun had followed her
emissary and gained possession of Isfahan, where she was
soon attacked by the supporters of Barkiyaruk, who,
however, were bought off. Shortly afterwards Turkan
Khatun, by promise of marriage, induced Malik Ismail,
brother of Zobayda, to attack the rival of her son ; but
he was defeated, and Barkiyaruk was formally proclaimed
at Baghdad two years after the death of Malik Shah.
But this did not end the troubles ; for Tutush, a paternal
uncle and the founder of the Syrian dynasty, rose in
rebellion and captured the young Sultan, whom he
brought to Isfahan and threw into prison. It had been
decided to blind him, but his half-brother Mahmud
suddenly died of smallpox, and Barkiyaruk was there-
upon restored to the throne, owing partly, no doubt, to
the disappearance from the scene of Turkan Khatun,
who had been put to death a short time before.
Barkiyaruk, who appears to have profited by his lessons
in the school of adversity, defeated and killed Tutush in
the following year, and another rebellious uncle was oppor-
tunely removed by the hand of a page. In the course of
these stirring events the life of Barkiyaruk also was at-
tempted by one of the Ismaili devotees, but he escaped.